Inspired Interiors: Greek Islands

It’s no secret to those who know me that I love to dream about travel ALMOST as much as I love to actually travel. I thought it would be fun to combine my love of travel with my love of design and create a space inspired by my a cool destination. One of my dream destinations is the Greek Islands, especially Santorini. Although I haven’t actually been there yet, there are plenty of gorgeous photos to inspire me! The bright white contrasting with the bright blues of the rooftop and the ocean, the character & history in every old street. Inspiration is not hard to find.

Here is a small sample for your day-dreaming pleasure 🙂

greece pics collage

 (photo sources: first, second, third)

greek inspired interiorSources: Sofa // Side Table // Art // Pillow 1 (only $10!) // Pillow 2 // Pillow 3 // Side Chair // Coffee Table // Ship in a Bottle // Driftwood Sculpture // Lamp // Rug (trade source)

What do you think? Would you feel like you’re in Greece in this living room?

Have you seen our DIY travel tracker map? Check it out here!

If you missed my most recent travel posts, you can find some recommendations for the Playa del Carmen, Mexico area here and here.

Wood Wall: Two Ways

I’ve had a lot of experience with creating wood walls in the recent months! We built a white paneled wall in our bedroom back in January, and then more recently I did a faux-weathered wood wall for my church. I don’t have many step-by-step pictures but I will do my best to fill in the blanks with words 🙂 wood wall both kinds with text In our bedroom, I was going for a more clean, modern look while still adding lots of texture and character. At church, we were going more for a rustic, Restoration Hardware-ish style. Here’s a run down of each!

White Wood Wall bedroom wall3Supplies:

3/8″ thick plywood, cut to 6″ wide planks (you can get the plywood cut at Lowe’s or Home depot, or do it yourself if you have the right tools!)

Nail gun & 2 1/4″ long nails Saw (preferably a table saw)

White Paint (we used Ben Moore Chantilly Lace)

A nickel for a spacer

Quarter round for edges

Start by determining the lengths of each plank based on where the studs are. Each plank needs to be nailed into the all of the studs it crosses. We determined the lengths as we went because we were going for a random look. I also liked the look of visible gaps, so we used a nickel as a spacer to keep them as even as possible. (I took this nickel picture after the wall was done, but really we did this as we were attaching them to the wall before the pieces were painted.)

nickel spacer

bedroom wall1 Continue this process of measuring, cutting, and nailing until you reach the the top. If you’re lucky, your last piece will fit in perfectly! A more likely situation is that you will need to rip the last board down to size. Once you get the last one in, you can start filling the wood holes with wood putty if you’re going for a very clean look (we did do this). Next a quick sanding of any splinters and rough putty spots. Now you’re ready to paint! It took me 1 coat of primer and 2 coats of paint to get the coverage I wanted. bedroom wall 2 Lastly, add the corner round to the corners on each side. This will really clean up the edges and give you a more finished look. You can buy this pre-primed to cut down on your painting. I pre-painted this completely so I could avoid getting any white paint on our gray walls.

After the paint dries and the smell airs out (use Low- or No-VOC paint to cut down on fumes!) you’re ready to move back in! We were camping out in our living room during this whole process (aka 4 nights) and though the “camp out” had us feeling like kids again the first couple nights, we were sure ready to sleep in our bed again by the end!!   bedroom wall 4 PS- click here for a tutorial on those lamps!

Faux Weathered-Wood Wall church wood wallSupplies:

Cedar 1×6’s

Various Stain Colors

Nail Gun


The process for this type of wood wall is a little different. The first difference is that you need to pre-stain your cedar (note: it is important to use a wood species that is more resistant to warping, like cedar or oak. Oak is more expensive, which is why we went with cedar.). To get the weathered look, we went with a combination of Minwax’s Ebony, Classic Gray, and Espresso oil-based stains. We mixed the stains in different combinations and even used more than one color per board to get a more naturally-aged look. stain colors   church wood wall one Wear gloves and clothes you don’t care about when using oil-based stains, as it’s hard to get it out of skin and clothes. We used the same process of measuring based on the location of our studs, then cutting and nailing to the wall in a random pattern. Visible gaps didn’t go well with the style we were going for this time, so we skipped the spacer. IMG_2424 Like the white wood version, continue measuring, cutting, and nailing until the wall is completely filled! Be conscious of the spacing the various wood tones around so the wall looks balanced. Again, you will likely need to rip down the top layer to the correct size. We skipped the wood filler and the quarter round steps on this one since the nails blended in to the wood’s various tones and the raw edge lent itself to the look I was going for. church3 Are any of you itching to add some wood wall to your life?? Now you have options! Either of these is a great way to add some architectural interest to your home.

DIY Colorblock Zipper Closure Pillows

DIY color block pillow with text

As I was pulling together the design concept for this room, I knew I wanted new fun new euro pillows. Using euros along with other bed pillows creates a nice layered effect and gives the bed a more complete look. Since we took out our headboard to save floor space (our room is tiny), we especially needed this extra layer. We had some from West Elm before, but the purple-ish gray was not working for me anymore.

before euros

Sorry, that is not the prettiest picture. Still stuck with my iphone! This was also taken before the new lamps were done. For the new pillow covers, I was inspired by these that I found on Etsy (which I unfortunately cannot find again):

Triangle Model A Pillow inspiration

These had leather as the brown part, but you guys, have you ever checked prices on leather?! It’s expensive. So I went with two different colors of a velvet from Kravet. I made my own version of the inspiration pillow and put it on my bed to see how it would look:

colorblock pillows photo 2-19Oops! Looks like a boring old pillow. So that’s when I got the idea to rotate it. Now I love it! Here’s the tutorial:

First cut your fabric pieces to size. Cut 2 identical pieces of one color about 2/3 the size you want for your pillow and 2 identical pieces of the other color about 1/3 the size you want to make your pillow. Remember to account for seam allowance, so make it about an inch bigger on each side per piece.

colorblock pillows photo 1-17

Next, put the pieces together with the good sides facing each other and lined up on one edge. Sew them together about 1/2″ or so away from the edge.

colorblock pillows photo 4-21

You now have a front and a back for your pillow cover. Place them faces together, being sure to align the seams on each piece where the colors meet. Trim the seams so there’s not a lot of bulky fabric inside your cover once it’s done.

colorblock pillows photo 3-17

colorblock pillows photo 2-18

Now PIN them together on 3 sides (all except the bottom where the zipper will go). To make your life easier when attaching the zipper, do not sew these pieces together yet! First, pin the zipper face down so one edge lines up with one side of the fabric. (Sidenote: get a zipper that is about 2″ shorter than the size of your pillow.)

colorblock pillows photo 4-18

Sew along the outside edge, but as close to the zipper as possible. Using a zipper foot attachment will help you get as close as you can. Once you’ve sewn along the outside edge, flip the entire thing over and fold back the other side so you can line up the un-sewn edge of the zipper with it. It helps to start with the zipper unzipped a few inches, sew a little, then zip the zipper past your presser foot so it doesn’t get stuck on it later.

colorblock pillows photo 2-21

colorblock pillows photo 3-20You’ve got your zipper on! Now you can sew the other 3 sides. Keep the zipper open so you can easily flip the cover right-side out. After I did this, I noticed there were still some gaps at the ends of my zipper. To fix that problem, I sewed across the zipper ends and then over to the other seam. There might be a better way to avoid these, but this was my solution 🙂

colorblock pillows photo 5-17

If you’re still confused about how to attach the zipper, this tutorial at Centsational Girl really helped me as I was doing it. Once the rest of the sides are sewn, flip the cover right-side-out and stuff in your pillow! My pillows are about 25″x 25″ so I stuffed them with 26″ x 26″ fills that I got at Target. I love how these really bring cohesion to our bedroom and how the zipper closures give them a more polished look on BOTH sides (versus just the front with an envelope closure). I think I’ll do zippers for all my pillow covers from now on!

colorblock pillows photo 2-20

colorblock pillows photo 5-16


DIY Clear Glass Lamp

clear glass lamps photo with text You gotta love when DIY saves you a good chunk of money. This is one of those times. When pulling together a design for our bedroom, I wanted our lamps to be clean and classic and not draw attention to themselves since the room is small and the main focal feature is the wood wall (post coming soon!) and our patterned curtains. When I saw the Zak table lamp at Crate & Barrel, I fell in love. But I was not about to shell out $250 each. I had read some blog posts in the past that have turned pretty much anything into a lamp with a simple lamp kit from your hardware store so I knew we could make these! After some more googling about drilling through glass, I gained enough confidence to try it (disclaimer: this took us more attempts than we thought, but we learned some things that we can share that will hopefully help you avoid our same mistakes!) Without further ado, read on for the tutorial. And sorry these are all iphone pictures, still saving up for my fancy pants camera! First gather your materials: clear glass lamps photo 5-15 Here’s the story about my vase. The first time we made these, I found 2 perfectly tapered vases that were the same size at HomeGoods for $5 each (score!). BUT turns out one was much thinner glass and after successfully making the first lamp, Calder started drilling into the second one only to have it break in his hands 😦 Oops. And I guess I got super lucky with those first two because after checking Hobby Lobby, HomeGoods several more times, Amazon, and other places I COULD NOT find another matching vase! So we had to order 2 new ones. This turned out to be fine because they are taller and I like the height better. If you are wanting the same look as these, I’ll save you some trouble of hunting high and low. Just order these from Save On Crafts. If you want to find your own, make sure the glass is pretty thick. You’ll also need a lampshade of your choice (mine’s from Target), a drill, a diamond tip drill bit (3/4″), a lamp kit, a clear cord if your kit comes with the ugly brown one mine came with, and a piece they call a nipple. Be sure to drill the TOP hole first. We broke 2 vases and they were both when we drilled the bottom hole first. Calder’s theory is that is weakens the glass. The drilling is a two-person job. Have one person spraying water over the drill spot and the other person drilling. We did ours in the kitchen sink using the sprayer, but you could do it outside with a watering can or hose, or whatever works best for you. clear glass lamps photo 5-14 The key to drilling through glass is to have the drill at full speed but put little to no pressure on the glass. The friction should be enough to cut through, although don’t be surprised if it takes a while for each hole. You want to be putting as little pressure as possible and try to anticipate the drill going through so you don’t slam the drill into the vase. After you drill the top, drill another hole about 2-3 inches above the opening. Sorry I forgot to load the dishwasher before taking this picture, ha! Keeping it real over here. It’s not a bad idea to put some wash cloths between the vase and the hard surface for a little padding. clear glass lamps photo 1-20 If you successfully drilled both holes, the hard part is done! There is probably water spots and glass dust all over your vase, so just give it a wipe down to get it looking clean again. From there just follow the instructions on your lamp kit. Thread the clear cord through the bottom hole, then through the nipple and the top hole. Then hook it up to the switch part (technical term). clear glass lamps photo 1-22 clear glass lamps photo 2-24

clear glass lamps photo 3-21
You may want to add a drop of super glue between the screw nut and the glass to prevent it from spinning around. After this, all you have to do is add your light bulb and lamp shade! Ta-da! You’ve made your own lamp. You should be pretty impressed with yourself.
clear glass lamps photo 4-22
Good luck! If you create your own, I’d love to see the finished product!
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Dining Room Art

I’m on a role with little projects lately! We’ve had this pizza peel for a while and we don’t ever use it. I saw the idea of making it into art a while ago somewhere online or in a magazine. I’m glad it’s being used now instead of buried in a cabinet somewhere! img_0617 It’s also fun to have art that is different than a typical framed piece of art or canvas. I like the added texture and form in the room. IMG_0618 To make it I just created my own stencil by printing the word “eat” in a font I liked in a large size. I then cut out the letters and used the remaining paper as the stencil to paint the letters. The hubs drilled a hole in the handle so I could hang it with some twine I had on hand. Another free project, score! Has anyone done any simple DIY projects lately?

DIY Upcycled Ruffle Pillow

I’ve been feeling motivated to do some small projects lately and I also had a dress that has been waiting to be donated for several weeks. The other day I saw some potential in it that I hadn’t seen before. Now I have a new white ruffle pillow 🙂






I backed it with some plain gold fabric I bought for another project and never ended up using and used a pillow I already had to stuff it. So this project was FREE! Always a good feeling. The pillow cover has an envelope closure (tutorial here) so I didn’t have to mess with sewing on a zipper (something I’ve never done) and I can still take the pillow out and wash the cover if need be.

A very simple project that can be done with any type of fabric… including clothing you no longer wear or that you find in a thrift shop!


Adding Some Character with a Bead Board Backsplash

We started this project a few weeks ago, thinking it would be done in one weekend. Sadly, that got drawn out 3 more weeks. But finally we’re done (for now)! It’s the most recent step in several little changes in … Continue reading

Painted Counters: Update!

A couple weeks ago I posted about how we painted our countertops and how thrilled we were with the results. Well I have to come back and give an honest update that this product is perhaps not as heaven-sent as we thought. We thought the performance would be similar to our laminate counters and it has proved to be not quite as durable. We may not have waited long enough before we started using them, but we quickly learned we need to be cautious as we use them. We had a bowl on the counter that we filled with hot food (the bowl itself wasn’t hot) and it left this mark:


Then I tried to clean off another mark with the scrubber side of the sponge and it ended up making it worse leaving this mark:


We have also gotten a few knicks in the paint. That being said, I still DO NOT regret painting them. I mean I only paid $20 for a completely different look to my kitchen. And for $20 I really can’t expect the Taj Mahal. And I would still recommend the product to people with ugly laminate counters that can’t afford to change them out YET with the disclaimer that it shouldn’t be your end goal but rather a means to an end. And that while using them, just be aware that you’ll need to handle with them with care.

I have since touched up those areas that got messed up and now we make sure to never put anything warm/hot directly on them and to not use the scrubber side of the sponge, but only the soft side. As long as we follow those “rules” they work just fine for now! But after singing praises, I didn’t want you all to try out this product misinformed.

Have a great weekend everyone!

DIY Christmas Garland






I used this inspiration picture (I think it was for sale on Joss & Main) to make the garland that now resides on our mantel shown above…

To make my version, follow these steps!

1. Gather your supplies.

DSC02927Not pictured is the most important supply of all.. hot glue gun and hot glue sticks! You will use a lot of it.

2. Cut 2 pieces of twine the desired length. Tie them together to give it a little more substance.


3. Wrap the twine around the stem of the branch. Make sure your placing the branch toward one end of the twine and not right in the middle.


4. Flip the branch so it is face down. Criss cross the twine and hot glue each side to the branch itself. Pull tight until it is dry enough to hold it in place.


5. Take the longer side of the twine and glue it a little further down the branch so the sprig will lay more horizontal than vertical. You may have to glue it in one more place as well.


6. Flip back over to admire it so far 🙂 Now you are ready to attach the berries!DSC02942

7. Cut a small sprig of berries off your larger branch.


8. Arrange it how you want and glue the stem to the back. (Excuse my chipped nail polish!)DSC02944

9. Now attach the bell! Thread a small length of twine through the hole and simply tie a knot around where you wrapped the twine around the branch so the twine blends in. I attached a bell only to every other greenery branch, but you can add as many as  you want!DSC02946



10. Done with the first one!


11. Repeat steps 2-10 until you’ve reached the end of your twine!


To see more of our Christmas decorations, click here!


linking up here:


DIY Pallet Bench

Although we have a lot more square footage in our new house than we did in our apartment, all of the spaces are pretty small. Because of this, multifunctional furniture really comes in handy! Although I’m sure I’m not the first to do this, it is one of the rare ideas I’ve had that I didn’t first see on Pinterest! Yay for creativity! 😉 Anyway, I knew I wanted a seating solution that could easily be moved around the room when guests were over and pushed out of the way when they weren’t. Honestly the storage idea came after I already made it, but it’s a nice feature too! I love that it brings in the fun fabric as well, which includes the colors I’d like use as my color scheme in this room.

Now for the tutorial!

Materials needed:

Wood Pallet

Cushion foam

4 Locking casters

Luaun board (thin plywood) cut to the size of your pallet half

1.5-2 yds of fabric


wood glue

staple gun

First, find a pallet. You can usually find them for free! Check your local Habitat for Humanity Restore, that is where we got ours. They had a huge pile they were trying to get rid of.

Next, cut it in half. You may have to reposition some of the boards like we did.

Now sand it down. I went crazy with the electric sander on this step 🙂 Wanted to make sure there were no chances for splinters!

(Yellow spray paint from another project yet-to-be-shared!)

The next step is to screw the two halves together and attach the casters. I had my handy hubby handle this step 🙂 Just screw diagonally into the vertical support boards.

You’re done with the base! Easy Peasy! On to the cushion top. For the foam, I scored a deal at Home Depot by buying what they call a “camping pad.” They are only seasonal (summer) so I picked mine up before we even moved to this house. You can also do this with foam from Joann’s or someplace like that, but it can be kind of expensive. The foam I used was about 4 inches thick and not as dense as the craft store foam.

Arrange your fabric so the pattern is centered on the foam. Cut your foam to size and lay it on top of the fabric and top the foam with your luaun. (You can also wrap the foam in batting before the fabric, but I didn’t have any.) Get your staple gun handy! Put one staple in each side of the plywood (doing one side, then the opposite side before you do the side next to it) and make sure you pull the fabric really tight! After those are in place work your way around in the same pattern doing a few staples at a time and pulling tight as you go! I used Jenny Komenda’s tutorial to help me with the corners (found here).

Trim the fabric after you staple and before you do the corners to make things easiest. Also, make sure your staples are not going to go all the way through the plywood. I used 2 layers of it to prevent any staples in guests’ backsides 😉

Cushion done and base done! Now to attach them to each other. The only way I could think to do this was wood glue. So far it has held up just fine! I squeezed one line onto each plank (don’t put too much or it will seep out the sides).

Put the cushion on and add some weight! I stacked on a bunch of books and left them on for about 2 days…only because we didn’t get around to putting them back for that long…

I think overnight would probably be sufficient!

Once you take off the books, you are done!! You can use the slots for storage as well. We will keep magazines, maybe some coffee table books, and it has proved to be handy alternative for our laptops instead of being eye sores on our coffee table.

The fabric I used is from and is called Summer Ikat in Opal.

And when we don’t have guests over, our kitties sure enjoy it 🙂 This was my first upholstering project and the fabric placement isn’t perfect, but if I can do it so can you!